Originally from Winnipeg, Sharyn has always been interested in different languages and cultures. After completing a degree in linguistics and French, she worked in business for six years before beginning a master’s degree in Christian Studies at Regent College, Vancouver. While there, she attended Urbana and began exploring mission opportunities, joining Wycliffe in 1986.
In 1989, Sharyn moved to Burkina Faso, West Africa where she served in several support roles before joining the Buamu language project. She served as linguist, exegete and project leader until that project transitioned to national leadership in 2009. She continued to support the team in an advisory capacity while pursuing further training in linguistics until the New Testament was completed in 2011.
In 2013, Sharyn was asked to serve as general director for both SIL Burkina Faso and SIL Mali. In 2016, SIL brought the work in Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, and Niger together into one unit. Sharyn served as general director of this new group until the end of September 2022, supporting the ministry of Bible translation and language development in Francophone West Africa.
Now based in Canada, Sharyn joined the leadership team as Senior Vice President for programs in January 2023, expecting to grow the engagement of the Canadian Church with field partners around the world, as well as exploring how Wycliffe Canada might serve Indigenous and diaspora language communities within Canada. While she will still be providing leadership in this area, the board has now appointed her to serve as interim president until a new president can be appointed.
While Sharyn’s roots are in Winnipeg, Vancouver is now her Canadian home.